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Support the key to Blues success: Ratten

13/05/2009 03:37:08 PM Comments (0)

Carlton coach Brett Ratten has urged his lesser lights to provide more back-up for the Blues' big guns as they attempt to fix their stuttering start to the AFL season.

Ratten says the Blues need "more contributors across the board" - challenging his middle and lower-tier players to provide more support from their stars like Chris Judd and Brendan Fevola.

Judd, Fevola, Marc Murphy, Bryce Gibbs and Matthew Kreuzer have all been major contributors this season, but below that is where the problem lies, according to Ratten.

"All our losses this season, you'll find we've had six players in the top 10 on the ground, and then we fall away," Ratten said.

"If you don't get 18 out of your 22 contributing, you're going to struggle in a game of football.

"We've had players who've been outstanding on the day, then it really drops off.

"The good sides get 18 to 20 contributors, they play their part and away they go and win games when they're close."

"We haven't got that across the board."

The Blues' defeat by Fremantle last weekend leaves them precariously placed at 3-4 - the same win-loss record as Sunday's opponents Collingwood.

Carlton are considering a recall for forward Brad Fisher, who has been performing well at reserves level following a pre-season hampered by an elbow injury.

Meanwhile Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse says his young players will get over their Monday night mauling by St Kilda, and expects them to bounce back against their traditional rivals at the MCG on Sunday.

The Pies were hammered by 88 points by a red-hot Saints outfit.

But Malthouse said his team, which featured several inexperienced players, would be able to put aside their heavy defeat to focus on Carlton.

"Young players are resilient - they'll get over it," Malthouse said.

"Twelve months ago we won by 86 points against a team (Geelong) that went on to play in a grand final.

"Football's like that. They (opposition) are hot, they get the momentum up, it happens."

Malthouse said he had no idea whether injured duo Paul Medhurst and Leon Davis, who were both late withdrawals against St Kilda, and ruckman Josh Fraser would be fit enough to play on Sunday.

Fraser has a knee injury, which is still being assessed by the club's medical staff.

Malthouse said he would consult with the medics later on Wednesday to discuss the trio's fitness.

Sunday's match will be played for the Peter Mac Cup.

The game helps raise funds and awareness for Melbourne's Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the only specialist cancer hospital in Australia.

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